USF awarded Ball Venture Fund grant for creation of Animation Academy

June 19, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The University of Saint Francis is one of four winners of the Ball Venture Fund competition, sponsored by the Ball Brothers Foundation of Muncie.

USF was awarded $23,198 to help create the Animation Academy, a technology-driven mentoring and education program delivered to three student cohorts, developing the next generation of Fort Wayne’s storytellers and digital media artists.

The Ball Venture Fund provides Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) colleges and universities with seed funds for innovative start-up projects. There were 37 submissions from 23 member institutions this year.

With a focus on animation, the Animation Academy will offer a dynamic, experiential learning environment with no more than 15 students in a class and an artist-to-youth ratio of 1-to-5. It will foster creativity and media literacy. The multimedia program will connect high school students to a collegiate network of mentors while building their technology skills and enhancing their portfolios for college admission and scholarship applications.

The other Ball Venture Fund winners were Franklin College, $18,300 for a digital production studio, Oakland City University, $8,472 for a tutoring and mentoring program and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, $25,000 for partnering with local mental health professionals in a graduate certificate program.

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis campus experience includes 16 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships, and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.